4534084Poems — Saint PatrickMartha Julia Elliott

Saint Patrick
The good Saint Patrick, patron saint of Erin's emerald isle.
Devout and simple minded man, unlettered, without guile,
Came out of fair Tabernia, to Irishmen to preach
Of Christ and of Him crucified—and faith in Him to teach.
The pagan people looked askance, at doctrines all so new—
For many patient years of toil, his converts were but few,
And yet for sixty years and more, he faithfully toiled on,
Till first the Chieftains, then the Clans, were finally won,
Through faith to their salvation, though not by faith alone,
For works, he taught, must follow, and for their grave faults atone.

So that, in later centuries, fair Ireland came to be
Known as the "Island of the Saints," a-shimmer in the sea,
A "little bit of heaven," down-dropped from out the blue,
Where from the star dust, scattered by the angels, sprang and grew
The tiny tender shamrock, in no other land e'er seen,
Just to do Saint Patrick honor and to keep his memory green.
'Twas on the seventeenth of March, four hundred sixty-five,
That good Saint Patrick, missionary, ceased to be alive.
All honor to his memory—the trials that he bore—
A memory that's lived for fourteen hundred years and more!